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Algeria to ban unauthorized protests New protests

Critics say that this is a new measure aimed at eliminating the protest movement from Hira before the parliamentary elections in June.

Algeria will ban unauthorized demonstrations, the country’s Interior Ministry has announced, observers say it is aimed at ending a year-long protest movement in pursuit of democratic reforms.

The announcement came on Sunday, in protest of the Hirak movement he gained momentum in recent weeks after a month-long break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in February 2019 to protest the decision taken by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to demand a fifth term.

These rallies ended a few weeks later when the octogenarian disease subsided.

The interior ministry said all the protests, many of which have now become broader calls for systemic change, would require a permit specifying the names of the organizers and the start and end times for the demonstrations.

“Failure to comply with these procedures is against the law and the constitution, as it denies the legitimacy of the march, and it will be necessary to address it,” the ministry said.

These restrictions, even if granted, would mean appointing specific people formally responsible for a protest movement without a leader until then.

The measures are in line with the clause in the new constitution approved by Algerian voters in November last year, which garnered only 25 percent of the vote in a referendum that organizers must provide information before demonstrations.

Some protesters believe the restrictions are aimed at ending all street marches.

“They are looking for reasons to justify any decision to ban the march,” Ahmed Badili, a member of Hirak, told Reuters news agency.

The cuts come ahead of the June 12 early legislative elections, when President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected in a vote boycotted by the protest movement in December 2019, promised it would be fair and transparent.

While Tebboun publicly praised the rally as a moment of national renewal and offered dialogue with the movement, security forces have arrested protesters, receiving criticism from rights organizations.

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